Not to be confused with "Murder By Television" starring Bela Lugosi. This film is about a young inventor trying to get his television system financed. A gang of crooks are out to stop him. This film is considered science fiction by many because the concept of television was still on the drawing boards in the 30's, but it's also a comedy. Stars Lyle Talbot, Mary Astor, Nat Pendleton, and Joyce Compton. Whether you would consider this scifi or not, you should find it entertaining anyway.
February 26, 2017 Subject:
Fun novelty comedy
Not even remotely a science fiction film, this is a likable light comedy about what happens when an inventor manages to produce a quality television but encounters professional jealousy and disbelief. The leads are all likable, with Pendleton and Joyce Compton especially fun.
November 24, 2010 Subject:
Not really sci-fi
TV was well past the drawing board in '36. Several commercial systems had already been tried, but weren't quite good enough. In '36 BBC was working hard on a better system and already broadcasting in a small way. The story of the movie resembles the travails of John Logie Baird or Philo Farnsworth, and the electronic gadgetry is realistic.
July 14, 2010 Subject:
A light, fun film starring a real-life hero
Most people, if they remember Lyle Talbot at all, remember him as a hack actor from the dreadfully scripted (albeit immensely entertaining) Plan 9 From Outer Space. However, Lyle Talbot had a long career on stage, screen, and television, playing just about every conceivable type of role.
In the early days of film when large studios treated actors like slaves, Talbot was a key player in forming the Screen Actors Guild. His efforts made life much better for all the actors who followed him, but Warner Bros punished him severely, marginalizing him to the low budget B-movie studios.
December 14, 2009 Subject:
An Hour's Splendid Entertainment
I heartily agree with the previous reviewer; the four leads here, help this charming tale go down like honey.
The joyfully blustering Thurston Hall, the slick and sick crook of Marc Lawrence and Lillian Leighton's sweet-and-sour landlady all add excellent support.
The tale is fun, trimmed to the bone and touches all points for a fun and trifle unusual 30s programmer. I was only sorry to see this end. If you have a soft spot for the period, I heartily recommend this. For the entertainment this gave me - 5/5.
November 7, 2009 Subject:
Haben Sie Schon Fernsehen?
This is a fun hokey movie. I could watch the 4 leads play you-name-it, and I just did. The title of the review is a German song of the same time "Have you seen television?" They sing "Everything you want to see..., your dreams, reality." Instead we've been trapped by television. Mary Astor and Betty Compton are better elsewhere of course, but they're knockouts here. 3 stars.